Sony has sold three switchers to BBC News and a host of new equipment to BBC Studios as the corporation embarks on the latest phase of high definition upgrades at Television Centre.

The installation of the Sony MVS-8000Gs at BBC News is part of a BBC's strategy that proposes all production should be done in HD by 2012.

Each switcher is capable of being configured with up to four mix effects (M/E) banks, 80 inputs and 56 assignable outputs.

The MVS-8000G switchers have optional internal format converters, colour correction and eight channel frame memory system to give operators superior processing power for complex live production applications.

A similar upgrade is also taking place at BBC Resources' Studio 4 where a MVS-8000 series four M/E switcher, with separate 3 and 1 M/E control panels, has been installed.

It is part of a£2m upgrade which will also see eight Sony HDC-1500 cameras and a 288x288 HD Pro-Bel router added.

The studio, which is home to ITV's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, A Question of Sport and the Jonathan Ross Show, will be switchable between SD and HD.

“The MVS-8000G is proving to give broadcasters in a broad range of live production environments a flexible path to HD production, which is reliable, fast and efficient,” said Sony European product manager at Sony Andy Hotten.

The MVS-8000G switcher has been equally popular in other parts of Europe. Outside broadcast specialist Cinevideogroup in Holland has just finished building two new units, each featuring an MVS-8000G switcher. Ireland's TV Mobiles and Italy's Videe have also invested as have Digiturk and ATV in Turkey.

Meanwhile, Sony is introducing a software upgrade for the MVS-8000G and MVE-8000A models. Version seven can support full 1080/60P and 1080/50P production with dual-link input/output, dual M/E link and dual DME CH link capability (with an optional software license).